Writing My Life

Now and Then

My “Uniquely Boring Life”: Turning Point – CaNcER


G before his scope and scrape.

Step 1: Awaiting the “scope and scrape”.

Lives have so many turning points that I wonder what kind of map is created by all the crooked cow-paths. I think most people could fill a book based solely on the turning points that direct their mortal journeys. But today, I want to chat about our latest turn of events.

Enter February, 2017. G.E. learns he is a candidate for Type 2 Diabetes and must check his glucose once a day. I panic. This man has NEVER watched his eating as long as I have known him – 48 years. He doesn’t know what “nutrition fact” food labels are, and he is confused about problems associated with carbohydrates. But he surprises me by taking charge of his health, learns the devastating truth behind sugar, and bids farewell to his candy jars and ice cream bars. Yay for him. Yay for me. He loses pounds and lowers glucose readings.  I don’t gain weight. A plus.

In comes March 2017 like a lion, a monster, a devil. After a month of “spotting”, G.E. starts bleeding before, during, and after peeing.  The episodes are similar to menopausal women’s periods in that they last a couple of days. Stop. And start again. After two trips to the emergency room because we can’t get into a urologist until March 20th, he is diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection. In spite of antibiotics, bleeding continues and possible kidney stones are blamed.

March 20th finally arrives, and the physicians’ assistant suggests weekly urine samples after reassuring us that many situations can cause bleeding, but most are harmless. Relax. The on-again/off-again bleeding continues – but NOT when urine samples are due. G. doesn’t feel well, and urination becomes difficult and painful. Third sample is filled with blood, and G. refuses to leave the urologist’s office without talking to the doctor.

April 13th. Gar undergoes a scope ‘n scrape. (This procedure has a long official name and a short acronym, but I can remember neither.) I face the urologist M.D. all by myself to learn he removed tumors in the bladder and a larger one in the urethra to send to pathology for a diagnosis. Our conversation continues like this:

Me: What do you think of these tumors?
Doc: Do you want me to be forthright?
Me (thinking – No please lie to me, and then make it so.): Yes.
Doc: I think they are cancerous.
Me (pausing to process): If it is, what can be done?
Doc: Probably surgery to remove the bladder and penis.
Me (thinkingI don’t care as long as he lives. How am I going to tell Gar? I am totally numb. I can’t even cry.): When will we get the results back?

April 20th. We receive the results. The doctor is right about the cancer, but it is more serious than he thought. “Crazy”, he says. So crazy, he refers us to Huntsman Cancer Institute. And Dr. Christopher Dechet. And so our lives turn. But the urologist was wrong about one thing: no penectomy.

Author: rbs

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8 thoughts on “My “Uniquely Boring Life”: Turning Point – CaNcER

  1. Dear Renae, I keep you and Gary in my prayers. I am so sorry for your suffering and hope that you will both be encircled by our Savior’s love as you traverse this difficult path. Sending love xoxo

    • I am repenting of my poor blogging practices, and am determined to “memoir” here. Of course, you are THE BEST EXAMPLE of blogging about your beautifully unique life and loves. Thank you for your prayers and support and friendship! Hugs and loves to you, Darling Megan!

  2. Hello Sweet Lady,
    I did indeed stop by! Wishing you and G. the best, PLUS praying for you. Stay strong and NEVER hesitate to demand answers from the doctor. I speak from MUCH experience! They are mortal like the rest of us. I have a wonderful tote bag, that I got at LDS hospital. It reads: “Life Is All About How You Handle Plan B.”

    • Tommie – I am always so excited to receive comments on my blog, but I am so derelict at posting that I haven’t “stopped by” to see who has visited me here. I am glad to chat with you about this because it is at this online spot where I plan to write my memoirs, using Cannon’s and Plummer’s guide. So you can see what I am writing, but how will I see what you are recording??? And thank you for your good wishes and your friendship. We are doing well, and we have been fortunate that our doctors have been extremely forthright in sharing information and providing options. We are grateful that for the most part, we have been in synch. Much appreciation to you for our ongoing connection! I love it and you!

  3. Keep me posted on your journey. Praying for you both.

    • Dear Joyce, when you posted this comment, I am sure you had no idea what lay ahead for you and your health issues. I hope all is going well and that you and your doctors can find the best remedy for your circumstances. Please let me know how you are progression on YOUR journey. My very best to you!

  4. Man alive, what the heck is happening to us?? This is the part that is relaxing and peaceful and fun and….well, what other reason did we “hang in there” for, when times were bad?! I have been on FB much for several months, just spotted and I thought I saw something about your hubby and cancer, and wasn’t sure. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. How is he feeling? How often do you come to Salt Lake? Bummer, you just moved from here! I hope your traveling here is nearly finished for medical reasons! My heart and love are with you. Sandi

    • I just saw this, Dear Sandi! And thank you for taking the time to comment. Yes, this was a huge shock to us for a number of reasons, but we are weathering it well. Gary finished all his treatments October 26, and so we hurried home to our St. George bungalow so he can finish healing. We will return north for check-ups starting in December – not sure how many times a year, but we do know they will follow his progress for 5 years. Thank you for your kind comments, and may the Lord bless you and Kip with all things wonderful!

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